When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Puffy Pillow Pancakes September 7, 2014

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 10:12 pm
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Saturday morning I made the Puffy Pillow Pancakes from Isa Does It. Everyone in the family LOVED them, and Emma requested Mickey and Minnie ones.  Thank heaven that we have a pancake pen.  It always comes in handy and I find I make less of a mess when I use one to shape pancakes.

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Vegan Rice Crispy Treats September 26, 2013

Filed under: Vegan — pastrybrush @ 3:00 pm
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These Crispy Rice Squares are in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar on page 143. I decided to make these because they look awesome and I wanted to introduce Emma to the magic of Crispy Rice Squares. Granted you don’t get the sticky mess that you do with non vegan ones, but I swear they tasted exactly like the version with marshmallows without the mess. We did have to either eat them over the sink or give Emma a bowl because they would fall apart. Thank goodness for dogs because Emma was leaving a trail of rice crispies and the dogs would just follow her and clean up. Emma really liked them and would ask for “treats” when she wanted one.

This recipe actually makes 9 large treats but I sliced them smaller and got 12 medium/small THICK treats. The recipe was actually really easy to make. The only problem was the time you had to wait until you could dig in 🙂

 

Vegan Coconut Yogurt and Granola September 24, 2013

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:02 am
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My first shot at making Yogurt in our dehydrator and I am making Vegan Coconut Milk Yogurt. The process was actually very simple and I used multiple sources (Waking Up Vegan, Vegan Guinea Pig, Vegan Cookbook Aficionado, and Excalibur Dehydrator – NOT VEGAN, used to figure out how to use dehydrator) to come up with a recipe.

For the Coconut Milk in the recipe I ended up using the big carton in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, well it worked but it had no flavor. So I advise you to use the canned coconut milk that has the least amount of ingredients added to it. You will get a better flavor. Also, I might have to experiment with the amount of Agar Powder because I used 1.5 tsp and it was WAY too much. It thickened just a little too much, more like the consistence of a jello. I think next time I will use 1 tsp and see what happens.

The Granola recipe is actually one of my favorites and it is from Alton Brown. It is very simple, happens to be Vegan, and is VERY tasty.

Coconut Milk Yogurt

32 oz Coconut Milk (4 cups)
1.5 tsp agar powder (should have used 1 tsp)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup coconut milk yogurt w/ active cultures

Sterilize jars and lids that you will be storing the yogurt in.

In a large pot whisk the agar powder into 2 cups of coconut milk until dissolved.
Heat the pot of coconut milk over low to medium heat until the temperature reaches 180 to 190 F. Remove from the heat and cool to 115 F/46 C.
Add in 1 cup of yogurt and sugar to cooled milk.
Pour mixture into containers and cover. Incubate in the dehydrator at 115 F/46 C for 5 hours.
Do not disturb, bump, open door or move while yogurt is incubating. When finished, refrigerate. Before serving, add flavors or fresh fruit.

Granola
Source: Good Eats: The Early Years by Alton Brown, page 264

Ingredients
10 oz Rolled Oats
4.5 oz Slivered almonds
5 oz Raw Cashews
1.5 oz Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
3 oz Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
3 oz Maple Syrup
2 oz Vegetable Oil (I used Coconut Oil – melted)
4 oz Raisins or other dried fruit (I omitted these)

1) Heat oven to 250 F.
2) Combine the oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
3) Measure the syrup and oil into a plunger cup. Add to the dry mixture and stir to combine.
4) Transfer the mixture to a half sheet pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
5) Remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl and cool for 30 minutes. Add the raisins and mix until evenly distributed. Store in an airtight container and enjoy for up to 2 weeks.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Maple Nut Scones and Far Breton November 1, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Breakfast,Cake,Scones,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 8:11 pm
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During the month of November there is going to be two recipes for each week for Tuesdays with Dorie.  I have decided that I am going to bake each option because Mike needs to gain weight 🙂  This will probably hurt me since I am trying to lose weight.  I am almost back to my  pre-baby weight, and then I have chosen to try to lose a couple more pounds 🙂  I am looking forward to the day when I can put back on my jeans and feel comfortable 🙂

So the two recipes chosen for this week were Honey Nut Scones, which I changed to Maple Hazelnut Scones, chosen by Jeannette of Whimsical Cupcake; and Far Breton chosen by Nicole of Cookies on Friday.  Both of these recipes can be found in Baking: From My Home to Yours on pages 31 and 202, respectively.

You ask why did I change the scone recipe, 1) I was being lazy and didn’t want to get the honey out, and 2) I was being lazy and I already had hazelnuts that were toasted (peels removed) and chopped.  It just made life so much easier.  The scones came together quite nicely, and baked up in no time.  I need to learn to not pat the dough out so thin.  I decided to dress them up a bit with some decorating sugar, which helped in the sweetness department.  Most scones that you come across today at coffee shops are doctored up to the nines in sugar, so it takes a little getting use to when there isn’t that much sweetness to a scone.  But I guess that is what toppings are for 🙂

I sat down this morning with some Irish Breakfast Tea and a Maple Nut Scone, and I was perfectly content with my choice.  I couldn’t really taste the maple, but the hazelnut flavor was very nice and the tea balanced everything out.  I had just enough time to eat my scone and drink half of my tea before Emma woke up and wanted feed.  I have to say, that it was very good timing.

The Far Breton, made my life so simple.  Especially since I was trying to make it the night before.  After I made the batter and placed it in the fridge, I decided that soaking the prunes and having them ready for today would make life easier.  So I walked over to the pantry, checked my bag of dried fruit, only to discover that I was mistaken and didn’t have any prunes…I had dates, CRAP!

I guess I will just have to drink the Earl Grey tea that I just made and wait until tomorrow since I really couldn’t/didn’t want  to do anything about it on HALLOWEEN.

Cut to this evening when my wonderful husband shows up with prunes for my recipe.  I promptly fix the tea, soak the prunes, and wait for them to come to room temperature.  The Far Breton just came out of the oven and smells FANTASTIC.  Now, it is time for the waiting game.  It must be the worst game ever when it comes to baked goods that have to cool before you can eat them.  The anticipation is excruciating, so I am trying to distract myself by writing this entry 🙂

 

Daring Bakers’: Maple Mousse in an Edible Container April 27, 2011

Filed under: The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 9:16 pm
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The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

So the rules for this challenge were as follows: 1) We had to make one of the two Maple Mousse recipes provided (I have listed the one that I used below), and 2) we must make an edible container for the mousse to be presented in.

As soon as I read the rules, I knew exactly what I was going to do.

Of the many cookbooks that I have, I actually have a few that are strict pastry and plated desserts.  One that has always drawn my attention was a bowl made out of chocolate.  It is actually made by taking a small balloon, blowing it up, and dipping it in melted chocolate.  Once the chocolate has set you can remove the balloon.  The easiest way I have found to do this is to just pop it 🙂  I actually had a bit of trouble with dipping the balloon in the chocolate because the bowl I melted the chocolate in wasn’t big enough.  In the end I just spooned the chocolate over the balloon and them smoothed it out in a swirl pattern with the back of the spoon.

The maple mousse was pretty straight forward to make.  At first, I was only going to make half a recipe, then I discovered that I only had 1/4 cup maple syrup.  Which is just enough for 1/4 of a recipe.  I decided that 1/4 of a recipe was perfect, even though I knew my containers wouldn’t very full.  The recipe came together without a hitch, and when the mousse was set I piped it into the chocolate cups.  The flavor of the mousse was very nice.  My first thought when I saw the recipe is that I didn’t want the maple to be too strong of a flavor, and it actually was perfect.  You tasted the maple, but it wasn’t overpowering at all.  Definitely a mousse recipe that can be modified for any type of flavor that you like 🙂

Maple Mousse:

Source: Adapted from Jaime Oliver is not my boyfriend

Ingredients:
• 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
• 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)

Directions:
1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Great Grains Muffins February 1, 2011

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Christine of Happy Tummy.  She picked Dorie’s Great Grains Muffins which are located on pages 8-9 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Holy Crap!!! I actually have all the ingredients I need…well sans prunes, but I have plenty of other dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots, orange flavored cranberries, golden raisins, etc.)  Now I just need to decide which dried fruit to go with.

At first, I was stuck on apricots and then at the last moment I decided to go with cranberries.  I decided to put an entire cup of cranberries in because who doesn’t want plenty of cranberries in their muffins.  I only changed two other things about the recipe, 1) I sprinkled the tops of the muffins with sugar, and 2) I baked these at 350°F for 20 -25 minutes.  I changed the baking time and temperature because lately when I have baked any muffins at 400°F they got WAY too brown on the bottoms.  So I opted to be on the safe side, and they turned on fantastic.

I ate one of the muffins after it had cooled for a couple of minutes and it was still warm and yummy.  The addition of the sugar on top gave it a nice sweet crunch and the dried cranberries added a nice tartness.  With all the grains in the muffin the only one that stood out to me was the cornmeal because it gave the muffin a nice nutty crunch on the outside, reminiscent of a piece of cornbread.  I will definitely be making these muffins again 🙂